Tuesday, February 5, 2019

Dean Baker — Progressive taxes only go so far. Pre-tax income is the problem

What Dean is saying is to preempt extraction of economic rent before it occurs, instead of taxing it back afterward. A lot of rent extraction results from government policy that can be changed politically — if the public demands it strongly enough.

Progressive taxes only go so far. Pre-tax income is the problem
Dean Baker | Co-director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research in Washington, D.C


Noah Way said...

Excellent point that seems to lead straight to either socialized services or price controls as taxes will either be avoided outright or passed on to the consumer / end user / tenant.

Single-payer would provide competition to private insurers. A national banking system would provide competition to private banks. Rent control has worked in some markets, but why not eliminate rentiers entirely public housing?

I already hear the screams of libertarians and neocons ... fuck 'em. Capitalism has failed.

Konrad said...

Capitalism has failed. ~ Noah Way

For the 99% yes, but it's spectacular for the 1%.


I agree with Dean Baker on this one. Tax the rich? They won’t allow it. Besides, at the federal level it won’t help, since the US government destroys tax revenue upon receipt. Calls to “tax the rich” sustain the lie that the US government runs on tax revenue.

Instead, let’s stop giving so many subsidies and other goodies exclusively to the rich and the weapons makers. Let’s spread the wealth.

Dean Baker says let’s reform copyright monopolies that have been made longer and stronger over the last four decades. “Many items that were not even patentable 40 years ago, such as life forms and business methods, now bring in tens or hundreds of billions of dollars to their owners.”

Let’s reform rules for corporate governance that currently allow CEOs to steal tens of millions from the companies for they work for.

Let’s stop bailing out the criminal bankers.

Let's have Single Payer health Insurance.

“Tax the rich” sounds nice, but it’s not practical or (at the federal level) useful.

You may recall that before Trump, Russia-gate, and runaway identity politics, Democrats camouflaged their subservience to Wall Street by pretending to call for tax increases on the rich. When the tax increases didn't happen, Democrats said, "See? Everything is the fault of Republicans."

Off-camera, Republicans and Democrats met for drinks, and congratulated each other for working together to scam the public.